Who was Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis?

He was also called the "savior of the mothers". Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (born 1.7.1818) was a Hungarian gynecologist and discoverer of the cause of childbed fever. This infection, accompanied by a high fever (puerperal sepsis), cost the lives of women wombs in an almost epidemic-like extent and was also referred to as the "death of a female from a man's hand".

New hygiene measure in medicine

Semmelweis was 1846-49 resident at the first Vienna Obstetrics Clinic, which consisted of two departments. One was the care of the doctors and medical students, while the other was the responsibility of the midwives. It was noticeable that there were more fatalities in the department of doctors and students than in the second, the realm of midwives. The reason for this was that after autopsies the doctors and students came directly to the examination of the young mothers.

Ignaz Semmelweis recognized the fatal and causal connection between unclean hands (eg touch infection caused by "corpse poison") and sick weaners. As a hygienic measure he introduced the hand disinfection with chlorinated lime. Although Semmelweis was able to noticeably reduce the mortality rate in his department, he did not receive recognition from his colleagues, but open hostility.

Posthumous recognition

Ignaz Semmelweis can be described as the pioneer of modern antisepsis. Unfortunately, he has not experienced his late fame and recognition. His life ended tragically. In 1865, at the age of 47, he died in a lunatic asylum near Vienna of blood poisoning, which he contracted during an operation. His scientific discoveries in the field of surgical disinfection have saved generations of humans to this day.

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